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Major League Soccer
Mar 19, 2023 at 2.30am UK
Dignity Health Sports Park
VW

LA Galaxy
1 - 1
Vancouver

Leerdam (45+4')
Puig (90+5'), Edwards (90+3')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Blackmon (14')
Veselinovic (17'), Brown (43'), Raposo (70'), Laborda (86')

Preview: Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Vancouver Whitecaps - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Vancouver Whitecaps - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Major League Soccer clash between Los Angeles Galaxy and Vancouver Whitecaps, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

A pair of winless sides square off at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday as the Los Angeles Galaxy host the Vancouver Whitecaps in their 2023 Major League Soccer home opener.

The Galaxy picked up their first result of the new campaign a week ago, drawing Sporting Kansas City 0-0, while Vancouver also earned a point with a 1-1 draw at home to Dallas.


Match preview

Following a pair of uninspiring performances to begin the year, the Galaxy are back in familiar territory with a chance to extend their unbeaten run at home to eight matches in the regular season and playoffs.

In Kansas City last Saturday, Greg Vanney saw his side struggle to string together passes and were only bailed out by the hesitancy of SKC in the attacking third and some outstanding goalkeeping.

So far this season, the Galaxy have conceded 15 efforts on target in just two matches, 11 of which came at Children's Mercy Park a week ago.

Los Angeles spent much of the 2022 season searching for their identity, and at the moment, some of those bad habits which we saw from them at the beginning of last year have creeped up with LA looking especially vulnerable on the counter.

Finding more balance in the attack will be among the goals for them in 2023, as they were far too reliant on their prolific Mexican striker and a Serbian super sub to score last year, with nearly 50% of their goals in 2022 (28 of 58) coming from those two players.

LA enter this fixture unbeaten in their last three regular season home games against Vancouver, easing past them 5-2 in this exact fixture a year ago.

Whitecaps fans have got used to their team starting the regular season slowly, and 2023 has been no exception, with Vancouver winless after three matches for a second successive campaign.

Vanni Sartini saw his group squander a half-time lead in their opening two MLS encounters this year, but it was a different story last weekend as they trailed the Toros after five minutes but fought their way back thanks to an own goal from Paul Arriola.

In their opening three games, the Caps have created a fair number of scoring opportunities, but that final ball has let them down, with Vancouver scoring just a single goal in each game so far this year.

The Whitecaps head into this encounter having lost four straight regular season matches away from home and without a road victory in this competition since beating Dallas 2-0 on June 18, 2022.

Not only did they frequently lose on the road last season, but how they lost was difficult to watch for Whitecaps fans, as their team suffered four away defeats by three or more goals while they failed to score on five occasions.

Despite dropping the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) tie to Real Espana (3-2) on Wednesday, they still advanced to the next round of that competition, winning 7-3 on aggregate.

Los Angeles Galaxy Major League Soccer form:
  • L
  • D

Vancouver Whitecaps Major League Soccer form:
  • L
  • L
  • D

Vancouver Whitecaps form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L


Team News

A big reason for the Galaxy's struggles in front of goal could be attributed to the fact that Chicharito, their top goalscorer in each of the past two regular seasons, is dealing with a hamstring strain, Chase Gasper will be questionable for this game because of a sore thigh and Douglas Costa continues to recover from a calf injury.

Jonathan Bond stole a point for his side last weekend, making 11 saves for his first clean sheet of the campaign, while Jalen Neal made his first appearance of 2023, replacing Chris Mavinga at centre-back versus SKC.

A brace from former winger Samuel Grandsir, along with goals from Efrain Alvarez, Chicharito and ex-midfielder Victor Vazquez, helped LA cruise to a comfortable triumph over the Caps in their previous match against them at Dignity Health Sports Park, while Dejan Joveljic is the only Galaxy player to find the mark so far this season.

Vancouver might be missing Alessandro Schopf for this one after the Austrian sprained his ankle in the draw against Dallas, Luis Martins is questionable because of groin tightness and Deiber Caicedo remains out following his right knee meniscus surgery.

Brian White scored for the second successive time in the CCL on Wednesday but he has yet to find the back of the net domestically, while Simon Becher also netted in their narrow defeat to the Hondurans.

Ryan Gauld scored in both games against the Galaxy last season, including the winner in their 3-0 victory at home to LA when Pedro Vite and the now-retired Tosaint Ricketts both found the back of the net, with Thomas Hasal collecting a clean sheet.

Los Angeles Galaxy possible starting lineup:
Bond; Leerdam, Neal, Caceres, Edwards; Alvarez, Delgado, Brugman, Puig, Boyd; Joveljic

Vancouver Whitecaps possible starting lineup:
Takaoka; Veselinovic, Blackmon, Laborda; Brown, Gressel, Cubas, Vite; Gauld; White, Cordova


We say: Los Angeles Galaxy 1-2 Vancouver Whitecaps

As poor as Vancouver have been away from home in recent years, they have played better than their current record indicates, while the Galaxy look lost without their star striker in the attacking third and have not been able to create much when in possession.

How to watch

You can watch Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Vancouver Whitecaps and every MLS match this season live on Apple TV. Click here for more details on how to subscribe.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


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Premier League Table

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Inter MiamiInter Miami18105342271535
2FC CincinnatiCincinnati1610332316733
3New York City FCNY City169252417729
4New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls178542923629
5Charlotte FCCharlotte FC177461818025
6Columbus Crew146622113824
7Toronto177372626024
8Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia164842723420
9Nashville SCNashville164752022-219
10DC United174762531-619
11Orlando City164571624-817
12CF MontrealMontreal164572335-1217
13Atlanta UnitedAtlanta164482221116
14Chicago Fire173681729-1215
15New England RevolutionNew England1541101227-1513

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Salt LakeSalt Lake1796236191733
2Los Angeles FCLos Angeles169342819930
3Minnesota UnitedMinnesota Utd168532821729
4Los Angeles GalaxyLA Galaxy177733125628
5Vancouver WhitecapsVancouver167452419525
6Austin FCAustin176562125-423
7Houston DynamoHouston166461818022
8Colorado RapidsColorado176472931-222
9Portland TimbersPortland185673232021
10Seattle SoundersSeattle174672021-118
11St Louis City163942325-218
12Sporting Kansas CityKansas173592632-614
13Dallas163581825-714
14San Jose EarthquakesEarthquakes1632112439-1511
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